A pragmatic Budget, which has finely balanced the need to sustain the growth momentum to keep the inflation under check, is setting the tone for a more vibrant economy. The large allocation of funds for infrastructure, social welfare schemes, agriculture production and productivity and health care will lead to alleviation of poverty, employment generation and all inclusive growth. The emphasis on innovation, research and skill development is appropriate and the need of the hour. The government also will take steps to improve the delivery mechanism of the benefits to the target groups.
Unstructured, non-institutional political funding is the route of the corruption in India. The finance minister has announced the setting up of a Group of Ministers to tackle the problem.
Bringing back the black money stashed away abroad will give a further boost to the economy. Towards this end, the government is entering into Tax Information Exchange Agreements with a number of tax haven countries and a task force is being appointed to expedite the process. Another encouraging statement of the finance minister was that discussions are on to further liberalise the policy on foreign direct investment (FDI). It is hoped that in addition to reducing the sectoral caps for FDIs, the procedures for implementation will be simplified.
S P Hinduja
Chairman, Hinduja Group